Fallen Lubbock Firefighters Remembered and Honored - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/11/08

Fallen Lubbock Firefighters Remembered and Honored

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September 11th is a time to remember and reflect. Many firefighters put their lives in danger in order to help save others. On Wednesday, six Lubbock firefighters were honored, by having Lubbock fire stations renamed after them.

Now every time Jacey Lester drives past the fire station at 79th and Slide Road, she will see her dad's name on the building. "My family is just excited, we love it," said Lester.   

Jacey's dad, Jay Lester, was a firefighter for 28 years and died last year.  He specialized in heavy rescues.  For two years, he fought brain cancer, caused by toxins he came in contact with while on the job.  But his daughter says that his job was his passion. "He loved it.  He couldn't wait to go back on when he was on vacation, he dreaded it and wanted to go back to the fire station and most of the time when he was on vacation he was in Dallas, doing more fire work, so that was just his passion," said Lester.   

The five other men that were honored were Waylon Jack Jenkins, Eddie Swafford, J. Neul Bryan, Kenneth Haggard, and Larry Tucker.  They all died in the line of duty.  Each man now has a Lubbock fire station named after them, and all their families joined together to remember their loved ones and unveil the plaques. 

"It's the least that we can do and to me it was an honor to be able to give this to them and for them to know that we aren't going to forget who these guys were and what they did," said Lubbock Fire Chief Rhea Cooper 

Cooper says naming the stations after these six men is very important when keeping their memory alive. "Today is a day to remember what happened, September 11th, 2001 and it seems the further you get away it doesn't seem to have as much significance, so what we wanted to do is to put it on our buildings saying this is the Lubbock Fire Department and we honor these people," said Cooper.   

Family members say they couldn't be more proud. "I really think that this means a lot to our family and I think it's awesome that something was named after him," said Lester. 

Jay Lester died in 2007 and he is the most recent fallen firefighter, but the earliest death was in 1929. These are the only six deaths in the line of duty in the history of the Lubbock Fire Department. 

Red Cross Champions 2008
NewsChannel 11 profiles local heroes being recognized Thursday, September 11th at the Red Cross Champion's Breakfast.

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